Guy's Hospital Gets Scaly Skin

M@
By M@ Last edited 101 months ago
Guy's Hospital Gets Scaly Skin

scalyshard.jpg

Guy's tower, that hulking bastard of concrete next to London Bridge, looks all set for a piscatorial makeover. Several posters in the area boast of 're-cladding the tower wing facade...to improve its appearance and energy consumption: Completes end of 2012'. The scaly reskin has been on the cards for a while, but this is the first public signal we've seen confirming intent. Guy's reckons to be the tallest hospital in the world, but will appear stunted, nay, wretched next to the lithe and lofty Shard (whose construction cranes are currently being assembled next door). Is there a touch of 'keeping up with the Jones's' about the reclad? Some are concerned that the brutalist infirmary will end up looking like a Frankenstein's monster - a 1970's concrete tower with a 2006 Thomas Heatherwick base, a new entrance about to start, and then a reclad, all by different firms. But we quite like the idea of a mongrel mix-and-match of styles to contrast with the sleek Shard.

Last Updated 28 September 2009

JohnnyFox

The Heatherwick Studios woven mesh facade for the boiler house is brilliant, and possibly the only 'good' architecture in what's really a dreadful mish-mash of styles and content - the place is a warren of corridors, clashing colours, and dead-end signage. It will indeed look scabby against the lines of the thrusting Shard.

It begs the question of inner-city hospitals occupying sites which could be given better public usage or be sold by a cash-strapped government. People willingly travel to our-of-town superstores and cinema complexes, so why not build state-of-the-art hospitals in similar edge-of-town locations. As long as there was a shuttle bus from a station, it could solve space, hygiene and infection control problems ...

jamesup

That's precisely what many PCTs have done, but 'out of town' is a rather more complex issue in London, where is out of town? Anywhere with decent public access is built up.

There will allways be a need for central A&Es and people need to get to hospitals by public transport. Guys tower is actualy a very smart solution (as is UCH) as it minimises it's land use with height. The new Royal Whitechapel will do the same.

Mixed feelings about Guys tower - I was looking forward to it's counterpoint with the Shard...

M@

James - I think the plan is to keep one section of the tower as bare, naked, sexy concrete. In the image, you can just about see it peeking out to the right. So you'll still get the counterpoint from some angles.

To be honest, the cladding looks so complex that it's hard to imagine how good or bad it might look from the simple drawing.

JohnnyFox

Good point jamesu but like a lot of central London hospitals now, Guy's doesn't have an A&E department.

jamesup

Your quite right Johnny - seeing as thats my local hospital that's handy to know!